What do you see?

It is amazing that we can view a situation quite clearly and yet not understand what is happening.

I would like to relate this little story to you.

The Security Guard

John the security guard was on duty at the warehouse. His role at the end of the day was to make sure that employees where not stealing goods from the warehouse. John was sharp eyed and had a reputation for preventing theft.

One day one of the workers was going home pushing a wheelbarrow covered with a large coat. “What have you got in there?, called out John. “Nothing!” came the reply. “Oh yeah” says John moving up closer to inspect. John lifted the coat and sure enough there was nothing in the wheelbarrow.

A few days later the same man is seen again pushing the wheelbarrow covered with the same large coat. Now John is thinking. This time the man thinks that I won’t be checking. However John is smarter than that and again stops the man only to reveal nothing under the coat.

On several more occasions this event repeated itself and each time there was nothing in the wheelbarrow. One day the man left the warehouse and said to John that he wouldn’t have to check his wheelbarrow anymore because this was his last day at the warehouse. John was relieved that he would no longer need to worry what was in that wheelbarrow.

A few weeks later following stocktaking John was asked if he had noticed anyone stealing 20 wheelbarrows!

Do you see what you want to see or expect to see? We need vision in business and sometimes we can easily deceive ourselves by what we see.

What are your experiences in seeing things the wrong way?

Please leave your comments in the box below.

Roland Millward
The Entrepreneur Club

Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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4 thoughts on “What do you see?

  1. Had to have a chuckle at that story!

    Incidentally, I find it amazing how staff can actually get away with this also. One of my large audit clients a few years ago caught red-handed a member of staff taking stock. They made the fatal error of sacking them on the spot, only to be sued for unfair dismissal! The staff member ended up with a couple of thousand pounds as well as a fair amount of stock they must have been taking in the past!

  2. Great post, Roland. Of course, the photo adds to the deception you refer to in the article too. Is this man attacking or defending? Who is behind those glasses, anyway?

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